In grindcore, there is a holy triumvirate: NAPALM DEATH, TERRORIZER, and LOCK UP. It’s no coincidence that all three bands are related in history and members. LOCK UP does the most in terms of honoring the legacy of the other two bands while sounding, arguably, the most fresh overall.
So should you care about the fourth album from a band, one that is essentially a side project, in their 18th year of existence? The answer is a definitive “yes.” Demonization is all about godly riffs, intensity, and most important, excitement. The feeling of a speeding training flying off the rails is invigorating. Right from the start, the album starts rolling and never stops until the final note. It’s unfair to single out songs to be highlighted as they are all of equal quality. Just listen to the whole thing.
While underground metal super groups have become so common and often fail to live up to their hype, the gang of Shane Embury, Kevin Sharp, Nick Barker, and Anton Reisenegger are unequivocally delivering the goods. Without a doubt, Demonization is one of 2017’s best releases.
Bow down to LOCK UP or be damned to a life of subpar grindcore. (Listenable Records)
Another strong year is in the books for heavy music, so strong that making a year end list seemed unfair to every release that we did not include in our lists. The underground continues to thrive with releases from legendary bands such as DARK FUNERAL, VADER, and NEUROSIS that will stand the test of time. Actually, most of the long running bands did not fail to meet or exceed expectations. Thrash metal pioneers, MEGADETH, VOIVOD, and TESTAMENT, certainly released excellent records. What is more important is that 2016 saw a lot of great releases from less trendy, more obscure bands.
This past year is personally notable as lost a dear friend and contributor, Brandon Stratton AKA rocknro11chef13. As a small tribute, we’ve included albums that he would’ve likely picked for his year end list. Life is short, my friends. Embrace it.
Mexican outlaws, BRUJERIA, make their long awaited return with fourth full-length album, Pocho Aztlan. It’s set for a September 16, 2016 release via their new label, Nuclear Blast.
The title translates to “Wasted Promised Land,” a combination of Aztlán, the fabled ancestral home of the Aztecs, and the term pocho, which native Mexicans use to refer—not always kindly—to their counterparts born in the States. Vocalist Brujo himself is pocho, a man caught between two worlds. Many pochos are not exactly accepted with open arms in Mexico. Meanwhile, they’re too often regarded as second-class citizens in their adopted US home.
Brujo‘s all-Spanish lyrics are as vivid as they are effective: Bona fide tales from the frontlines of the drug war, the racial divide, and the battle for the border. “A lot of BRUJERIA songs are true stories,” Brujo says. “And if they haven’t happened yet, they will happen.”
The band also includes Jeff Walker (CARCASS) and Shane Embury (NAPALM DEATH).
With the whirlwind of publicity that U.S. presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has been receiving, Jello Biafra (JELLO BIAFRA AND THE GUANTANAMO SCHOOL OF MEDICINE) shares additional thoughts on Mr. Trump on his latest edition of What Would Jello Do?
Jello reveals some new examples of ridiculousness and racism that may not necessary be widespread public knowledge. And speaking of racism, here is an image that sums up how BRUJERIA feel about the presidential candidate.
In 1997, one of the most fucked up movies of all time, Gummo, hit theaters in the U.S. Few movies could match the story of a bunch of sick and twisted kids. I’m still scarred to this day.
In any case, Gummo had one of the best (extreme metal) soundtracks of all time featuring bands that were still strictly underground at the time: BRUJERIA, BURZUM, EYEHATEGOD, NIFELHEIM, BETHLEHEM (remember them?), and ABSU. The APESHIT goons highly recommend it.